Lorry driver claims ‘sneezing’ caused fatal A1 crash

Published: 4:42 PM May 3, 2022 A lorry driver who ran into the back of a car on the A1, killing its driver, claimed a ‘sneezing fit’ caused the crash. Raymond Buff, 55, hit stationary traffic on the A1’s southbound carriageway, near Eaton Socon in St Neots

Mr Buff’s HGV failed to stop for traffic ahead of him, and hit a silver Volkswagen Golf at around 6.40pm on December 9, 2019. Matthew Mitchell, 39, of Emlyns Gardens, Stamford was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, but died the following day. Mr Mitchell’s Golf had spun 180 degrees, and hit three other vehicles, but there were no further casualties.

Speaking with officers at the scene, Mr Buff claimed a ‘sneezing fit’ prevented him from seeing the traffic in time. The man from New Chester Road, Birkenhead, Merseyside later admitted causing death by careless driving. He today (May 3), appeared at Peterborough Crown Court, where he was jailed for nine months and disqualified from driving for a year.

Detective sergeant Mark Dollard said: “Mr Buff was a professional, experienced HGV driver but he was responsible for the collision on the A1 and the subsequent death of Mr Mitchell. “Mr Buff claimed he failed to react to congested traffic owing to a sneezing fit. “This highlights the importance of being always aware of your surroundings while driving, and this is even more important if you are driving a lorry.

“Mr Buff never intended to cause such devastation that evening, but his actions did just that and they should be a stark warning to all road users.

“You have a responsibility to always take care and drive safely.”